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Atlas Township, Goodrich to vote on fire millage



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August 01, 2012 - Atlas Twp.- On Tuesday when township voters go to the polls they will be asked to renew a fire millage to continue providing funding for the fire department.

Earlier this year, the board of trustees voted 5-0 to have the 1 mill renewal for fire services.

If approved property owners will pay $50 per year for a home valued at $100,000. The current fire millage expires at the end of this year.

Township voters passed the last fire millage in 2006 with 671 yes votes to 286 no. While voters OK'd the 1 mill then, because of the Headlee Amendment the millage was rolled back to 0.9978 mills. As a result of the rollback, legally, the renewal is an increase to the original 1 mill.

Five years ago the 1 mill generated about $330,000; however, due to the decline in property values that same mill will only generate about $264,228.

"The vote will return to 1 full mill," said Tere Onica, township clerk. "Compared to other communities the one mill is very reasonable."

The township fire department includes 28 on-call firefighters. Last month the township board of trustees voted 5-0 to purchase a Marion fire truck. The 3,000 gallon capacity pumper will replace a 30-year-old 2,500 pumper. It's the first new fire truck since 2008.

In May township officials announced that following an extensive fire department audit earlier this year, an ISO rating of 5/8B was awarded to the township. Previously, the township's ISO rating was 9/10.

With the slight improvement in ISO homeowners insurance rates could decrease.

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